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Paul Summers, Course Leader


Course Leader

Faculty of Business, Law and Digital Technologies


Paul is a passionate educator drawing on his broad experience of industry to provide his students with a rich and insightful experience. He synthesises the worlds of practice and academia, helping his students to understand how theory works in the workplace.

His focus is on utilising active learning techniques in explaining the concepts underpinning his real-world learning, enabling students to become continuous learners.

In 2014, Paul co-chaired the UKSS 18th International Conference at the University of Hull and has refereed several articles for both journals and conferences. He regularly presents at both academic and practitioner conferences on project management, benefits management and developing reflective practitioners.

During his career, he has worked in retail banking, leisure retail, photography, IT, change management, HRD, project delivery, project portfolio management and as a PMO manager. He is a full member of the Association for Project Management, as well holding the PMQ, AgilePM practitioner, Managing Successful Programmes practitioner and PRINCE2 practitioner qualifications.

Taught courses

Further information

Industry experience

Paul has 40 years' experience in banking, leisure retail, photography and local government, self-employment, and consultancy.

Research interests

Paul's research interests include all aspects of project delivery, HRD.

Recent publications


  • Systems thinking in local government. The Systemist 33 (2&3), 88-111.
  • Benefits management: The keystone of project management. Retrieved from
  • Explore, experiment, experience: A synthesis of Vickers' appreciative learning system and Ackoff's problem approach applied in practice, Chapter in G. Bell, R. Pagano and J. Warwick (Editors), Problem Structuring Approaches and Management for Projects: Demonstrating Successful Practice. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Co-authored with C.E. Welch.

Papers presented at academic conferences

  • Active learning: how to educate 21st century employees. BAM 2017 conference.
  • Getting value from your projects the Solent way. Operational Research Society 58th Conference 2016.
  • Flawed project definitions: How your projects fail to deliver. Operational Research Society 58th Conference 2016.
  • A Systems Thinking approach to improving project performance. Operational Research Society 58th Conference 2016.
  • 98.8%. Is project failure acceptable?. IRNOP 2015 conference.
  • Planning to fail? A critique of current project definitions as a basis for benefit realisation'. BAM 2015 conference.
  • Project education: a new paradigm University Forum for Human Resources Development (UFHRD) conference 2013.
  • Active learning: How to produce the 21st century employee UKSS 17th. International conference 2013.
  • Knowers rule: OK? UKSS 16th International conference 2012.
  • Benefits management: The keystone of project management, Association for Project Management (APM). Benefits SIG conference 2012 (student award-winning paper), also presented to the London and Wessex APM branches.
  • A systemic approach to improving performance, Portsmouth Business School Research & Knowledge Transfer conference 2011.
  • A systemic approach to improving project management performance, ISSS 55th conference 2011.
  • An approach to improving project management performance: the learning dimension. UKSS 15th International conference 2011.
  • Systems thinking in local government, UK Systems Society (UKSS) 14th International conference 2010.
  • Systems thinking in local government, Operational Research Society 52th Conference 2010.

Papers/workshops presented at professional conferences

  • Benefits management in practice a workshop, Business Analysts Conference Europe 2013.
  • Systems thinking and project management, British Computer Society PROMS-G 2012.
  • Change through projects, University of Bournemouth/APM 2012.


Paul received the APM Herbert Walton award for best PhD in 2018. He also received a research grant of £1,500 from Solent University in October 2014, and was awarded the APM Benefits SIG postgraduate student award in 2011.